Enthralling Carnatic vocal plus Bharatnatyam

Mitha Concert artists performing in Boston
Mitha Concert artists performing in Boston

BOSTON: MITHAS (MIT Heritage Arts of South Asia) organized a captivating and enthralling Carnatic Vocal and Bharatnatyam by T.M.Krishna and Priyadarsini Govind respectively on the beautiful evening of May 7 at MIT’s Big Kresge Auditorium.

Hundreds of admirers in their customary Indian outfits gathered for this exciting evening. MITHAS is bringing eminent South Asian music, musicians and arts from across the globe to Boston since 1993 by presenting two concert series annually: namely Spring Concert Series, which usually runs from April through June and Fall Concert Series, which usually runs from August through November. Each concert series includes around six concerts and special events.MITHAS brings the unique and ancient classical Indian music by inviting high quality musicians from across the globe to communitiesof MIT and the Greater Boston area.

George Ruckert, the Artistic Director, cordially welcomed the audience to the melodious evening function and introduced the most senior member of the Board of Directors and Anuradha Palakurthi, the Chairwoman of Board of Directors, who are tirelessly working behind the MITHAS’s movement as well.

Hari Arthanari, the President of the Executive Committee, introduced Priyadarsini Govind, foremost Bharatanatyam dancer, who is also the Director of Kalakshetra Foundation. He said that she blends very artistically the new choreography with the traditional and extends the boundaries of Bharatanatyam repertoire. She is well-known for her excellent performances given in the prestigious venues all over India and across the globe, he added.

Hari also gave a big thank you to the huge crowd of audience, members, patrons, mentors, volunteers, artists, local teachers, local artists and each and everyone who have been associated with MITHAS over all these years.

Before the concert commenced, Priyadarsini introduced each artist to the audience with a brief summary of their specialization. She also provided a short wonderful description in the beginning of each episode of the program to the audience to understand what the composition and dance are going to depict. K. S. Balakrishnan, as a highly experienced Nattuvanar – Conductor of the program – exhibited his brilliance and talent.

He was accompanied by Vedakrishnan Venkatesan on Mridangam, who used a refined technique laden with bhava and delighted the audiences. Carnatic vocalist T. M. Krishna, who is described as a rare phenomenon in the Carnatic music world today, presented a consummate and supreme performance.

He sang with full heart by immersing himself in the depth of joy and took his audience to the world of divinity. He and Priyadarsini presented their recent composition on the theme ‘Philadelphia’s history of the spirit of freedom and independence’ with songs and thoughts of Tagore, Meera Bai, Ambedkar, Gandhi, and others.

This new work focused on liberation and evolution beyond our ‘self’ to the larger collective planes of meaning and existence. The combination of two powerful and classical art forms of Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam dance offered a mesmerizing concept of the human experience, longing and flying of human soul into the new heights of liberation.

Priyadarsini Govind and T.M. Krishna have been transforming the shape and progression of their two classical art forms for more than a decade by introducing contemporary themes that look beyond the physical and personal being to collective and whole humanity. T. M. Krishna says his idea is rooted in the spirit of creating new things and sharing them with music lovers, and honestly responding and respecting their thoughts.

R.K. Shriramkumar on Violin and K. Arun Prakash on Mridangam added a unique dimension to the whole program.At the end of the concert, many of their fans went on the stage to greet, obtain autographs and take their pictures with them.

Geetha Patil